This gentle ecclesiastical comedy highlighted the rivalries at St Oggs, a 13th-century cathedral, and originated in the Comedy Playhouse series for BBC TV. A total of 33 half hour TV editions were made, which were, in turn, adapted for radio. The Bishop of St Oggs was played by William Mervyn, the Archdeacon, Robertson Hare, the Dean by John Barron, and the accidetn prone Reverend Mervyn Noote by Derek Nimmo (for TV and first radio series) and later Jonathon Cecil (2nd Radio series). This series firmly implanted Nimmo in the minds of the viewing and listening public as a religious personage, and he happily exploited this connection for years, almost cornering the market in TV vicars!
The series was written by the husband-and-wife team of Pauline Devaney and Edwin Apps (using the pseudonym John Wraith for the pilot), and they adapted all the TV episodes for radio. Sadly a number of the shows are now lost, but the writers were able to return two shows (pilot and The Bishop Gets the Sack) under the Treasure hunt banner, taking the number of TV episodes to 11. all of which have been recently released on DVD and video by DD Video. The DVD set comprises 2 DVDs and a very well researched and presented booklet detailing the series, giving details of each episode in the set, and of the cast, crew and writers. Liek the other calssic TV issues from DD Video, there has been considerable tiem and effort expended on this release, and it deserves to be very successful. You can obtain a copy from Choices Driect using the links to the left.
The radio series has faired little better in the BBC archives, with only 10 being retained, and only 4 have been issued on cassette, but a number are held in private hands, and it is hoped that these can be tracked down and returned to the BBC at a later date.
The pilot was broadcast as part of the Comedy Playhouse series of pilot shows on BBC1 on Tuesday 17th May 1966 at 7.30pm. This show was returned to the BBC archives by the authors during the Treasure Hunt campaign.
|The Bishop Rides Again||17.5.66||Available on DD Video release|
The 6 editions that made up the first series were all recorded in black and white and transmitted of a Tuesday on BBC1 at 7.30pm.
|The Bishop Gets The Sack||31.1.67||Available on DD Video release|
|The Bishop Meets A Bird||7.2.67|
|The Bishop Writes A Sermon||14.2.67|
|The Bishop Sees A Ghost||21.2.67||Available on DD Video release|
|The Bishop Turns To Crime||28.2.67|
|Only Three Can Play||7.3.67|
The 6 editions that made up the second series were all recorded in black and white and transmitted of a Friday on BBC1 at 8.20pm.
|The Dean Goes Primitive||24.11.67|
|The Bishop Gives A Party||1.12.67|
|The Bishop Gets A Letter||8.12.67|
|The Bishop Goes To Town||15.12.67|
|Give A Dog A Bad Name||22.12.67|
|The Bishop Gives A Shove||29.12.67|
There was no series in 1968, however, Oh Brother! and All Gas And Gaiters combined as part of Christmas Night With The Stars (25.12.68, BBC1 Wednesday 6.40pm) for a 10 minute short skit. The third series was the first to be recorded in colour, but the first transmission on BBC1 of a Wedneday at 7.30pm was broadcast in black and white. Subsequent repeats were made in colour.
|The Bishop Learns The Facts||8.1.69|
|The Bishop Has A Flutter||15.1.69|
|The Bishop Is Hospitable||22.1.69|
|The Bishop Pays A Visit||29.1.69|
|The Bishop Takes A Holiday||5.2.69|
|The Affair At Cookham Lock||12.2.69|
|The Bishop Keeps His Diary||19.12.69|
The series was made and transmitted in colour from this series. First broadcast on BBC1 of a Wednesday at 7.30pm
|The Bishop Buys A Car||15.4.70|
|The Bishop Gains A Reputation||22.4.70|
|The Bishop Loves His Neighbour||29.4.70||Available on DD Video release|
|The Bishop Beats The System||6.5.70||Available on DD Video release|
|The Bishop Buys A Mug||13.5.70|
|When In Rome||20.5.70|
|The Bishop Takes Up Business||27.5.70|
The fifth, and last, series was originally broadcast on BBC1 of a Thursday evening around 7.45pm. All were made in colour, but the first two only exist as the black and white telerecordings.
|The Bishop Warms Up||13.5.71||Available on DD Video release|
|The Bishop Entertains||20.5.071||Available on DD Video release|
|The Bishop Gives A Present||27.5.71||Available on DD Video release|
|The Bishop Shows His Loyalty||3.6.71||Available on DD Video release|
|The Bishop Has A Rest||10.6.71||Available on DD Video release|
|The Bishop Loses His Chaplain||17.6.71||Available on DD Video release|
The radio series was adapted from the TV scripts by Pauline Devaney and Edwin Apps and retained the cast of the TV series until series 2, when Derek Nimmo became unavailable and Jonathon Cecil took over the role of Noote. The series were produced by David Hatch.
Broadcast on Radio 4 of a Tusday at 6.15pm.
|Title||Date||Rec. Date||Tape No.|
|The Bishop Rides Again||5.1.71||Exists in Private Hands|
|The Bishop Writes A Sermon||12.1.71||Exists in Private Hands|
|The Bishop Meets A Bird||19.1.71||8.11.70||T82259|
|The Bishop Turns To Crime||26.1.71||Exists in Private Hands|
|The Bishop Sees A Ghost||2.2.71||Exists in Private Hands|
|Only Three Can Play||9.2.71||15.1.70||T34661|
|The Dean Goes Primitive||16.2.71||Exists in Private Hands|
|The Bishop Gets A Letter||23.2.71||Exists in Private Hands|
|The Bishop Gives A Party||2.3.71|
|The Bishop Goes To Town||9.3.71||Exists in Private Hands|
|Give A Dog A Bad Name||16.3.71||6.12.70||T82260|
|The Bishop Gives A Shove||23.3.71|
|The Bishop Pays A Visit||30.3.71||Exists in Private Hands|
Broadcast on Radio 4 of a Monday at 6.15pm.
|Title||Date||Rec. Date||Tape No.|
|The Bishop Learns The Facts||24.7.72||12.3.72||T82262|
|The Bishop Takes A Holiday||31.7.72||12.3.72||T82261|
|The Bishop Buys A Car||7.8.72||Exists in Private Hands|
|The Bishop Gets The Sack||14.8.72||Exists in Private Hands|
|The Bishop Has A Flutter||21.8.72||Exists in Private Hands|
|The Affair At Cookham Lock||28.8.72|
|The Bishop Loves His Neighbour||4.9.72||Exists in Private Hands|
|The Bishop Beats The System||11.9.72|
|The Bishop Entertains||18.9.72||Exists in Private Hands|
|The Bishop Gains A Reputation||25.9.72||18.6.72||T82263|
|The Bishop Buys A Mug||2.10.72|
|The Bishop Loses His Chaplain||9.10.72||Exists in Private Hands|
|When In Rome||16.10.72||28.5.72||T82265|
|The Bishop Is Hospitable||23.10.72|
|The Bishop Gives A Present||30.10.72||23.7.72||T35804|
|The Bishop Takes Up Business||6.11.72||Exists in Private Hands|
|The Bishop Keeps His Diary||13.11.72|
|The Bishop Warms Up||20.11.72||25.6.72||T35804|
|The Bishop Shows His Loyalty||27.11.72||Exists in Private Hands|
|The Bishop Has A Rest||4.12.72||7.5.72||T82264|